December Girl by Nicola Cassidy

Molly Thomas is a feisty, independent soul, born on the Winter Solstice. At every stage of her life, she has faced troubles. As a young woman, her family are evicted from their home at Christmas. Molly swears vengeance on the jealous neighbour and land agent responsible, Flann Montgomery. Then in 1896, her baby son is taken from his pram. While Molly searches the streets for little Oliver, the police are called but her baby is gone. Why does trouble seem to follow Molly? And will she ever find out what happened to her child? December Girl is a tale of family bonds, love, revenge and murder.

Molly Thomas is a feisty, independent soul, born on the Winter Solstice. At every stage of her life, she has faced troubles.

As a young woman, her family are evicted from their home at Christmas. Molly swears vengeance on the jealous neighbour and land agent responsible, Flann Montgomery.

Then in 1896, her baby son is taken from his pram. While Molly searches the streets for little Oliver, the police are called but her baby is gone.

Why does trouble seem to follow Molly? And will she ever find out what happened to her child?

December Girl is a tale of family bonds, love, revenge and murder.


I had a slight concern going back in to the 1800, but the story fit so well in to the era, that I soon settled in to the story.

It is set in parts, which does help with the plot.

Nicola Cassidy, gave us a family saga with darkness, twists and heart breaking moments.
I invested in to Molly’s character and she was brought to life extremely well. 

Wanting to follow her journey, which although not an easy path was eloquently written.

I loved being immersed into the lives, passing decades and just loved the grit, grimness, lives of those told. Molly really did have her life cut out from her from a young age, and is determined to make the most of every situation, however dire, she is always looking for a way out to save herself. 

When moving from Ireland to London, and her dreams don't quite follow plan, which is an understatement, she again looks for a way to save herself. She is such a diverse and interesting character, that you can't help but follow her and will her well. 

It took me back to my teens, when all I read was Catherine Cookson.

Perfect for reading this time of year, to get lost in the past in a novel that is spectacularly written. I hope to read more by this author soon.

Losing Myself By Victoria J. Brown

This is the second in the series, please read these in order. The first book being Holding Myself, published July by Bombshell Books

An uplifting page-turner about love, loss and hope Since Kat made her decision, everything around her seems to be falling apart. Not only is she dealing with family’s secrets, lies and deceit but the salon, which is opening around the corner, threatens her livelihood. To make matters worse her relationship with Max is on the rocks. Although her relationships with Max’s mother, her step-mother and her sister have grown stronger, are they strong enough? Working tirelessly to save her salon and save her relationship with Max, she is battling everyday to stay focused on her future. But what will the future bring?

An uplifting page-turner about love, loss and hope

Since Kat made her decision, everything around her seems to be falling apart. Not only is she dealing with family’s secrets, lies and deceit but the salon, which is opening around the corner, threatens her livelihood.

To make matters worse her relationship with Max is on the rocks. Although her relationships with Max’s mother, her step-mother and her sister have grown stronger, are they strong enough?

Working tirelessly to save her salon and save her relationship with Max, she is battling everyday to stay focused on her future. But what will the future bring?

Wow, if I thought Kat had her hands full in the first book, that is nothing compared to what she has to deal with in Losing Myself. 

I love this character and although I find her a bit self absorbed, especially the first part of the book she has good reason to be. 
Just when she thinks things can't get worse they do, but at the same time this is where I think Kat found her strength to face everything that was going on. 

A thoroughly enjoyable read, with emotion, friendship and dilemma's galore, I really felt for Kat and wondered if she would find herself without too much distress. 

I really enjoy Victoria's writing style and insight in to Kat's problems and Issues, and she does this without making Kat too ditzy, a caring and likeable character that will have you cheering for her from the sidelines. 

I am so looking forward to book 3. I do suggest you read these saga's in order to benefit from the characters lives. 

 

The Queen of New Beginnings By Therese Loreskar

Highly recommend you read The Queen of Blogging First, this is a follow on, that benefits from reading the first book initially. 

A laugh out loud comedy about starting again Kajsa lives in a large house in Stockholm along with her three children and their dog. Since coming clean about lying on her popular blog she no longer has any work. Not only that but she has kicked her husband out because of his sex addiction. While her husband is in rehab trying to fix his little problem, Kajsa's mother-in-law is thrown out of her retirement home and comes to live with her daughter-in-law. Then Kajsa receives an unexpected offer to move to a fashionable part of London. But having to look after her mother-in-law makes life complicated.   Can Kajsa rid herself of her baggage and make a fresh start with her children in England? This laugh-out-loud comedy looks at the daily struggles we all face with our families and asks if starting again is ever really possible.

A laugh out loud comedy about starting again

Kajsa lives in a large house in Stockholm along with her three children and their dog. Since coming clean about lying on her popular blog she no longer has any work. Not only that but she has kicked her husband out because of his sex addiction.

While her husband is in rehab trying to fix his little problem, Kajsa's mother-in-law is thrown out of her retirement home and comes to live with her daughter-in-law.

Then Kajsa receives an unexpected offer to move to a fashionable part of London. But having to look after her mother-in-law makes life complicated.  

Can Kajsa rid herself of her baggage and make a fresh start with her children in England?

This laugh-out-loud comedy looks at the daily struggles we all face with our families and asks if starting again is ever really possible.

I loved the first book The Queen of Blogging, and was so looking forward to what Kajsa would have to contend with next in life. 

I felt this book had all the elements from the first book and more, Kajsa I described as a Bridget Jones type read in this one, she really grows up, grows on you and faces real battles that are brilliantly written. 

Gull Britt is one of the most entertaining characters and Kajsa and her spark off brilliantly, but there are some really heartfelt warm moments and you grow to understand her as the story develops. 

Therese has done a marvellous job with keeping the tempo of the first book, bringing in some amazingly funny moments, that are cringe worthy, but so good to read. It is light hearted, but with backbone. I found this an extremely easy and entertaining read and am still hoping to read more from Kajsa she has so much more to bring. 

I have a feeling her life will always have a hint of hectic to it. 

Highly recommend. 

 

The Trouble With Words By Suzie Tullett

An unmissable and heart-warming romantic comedy Annabel is desperate to have a baby – there’s just one problem. She’s single and after losing her husband in a hit and run accident, she’s just not ready for another relationship.  Dan is on the hunt for the perfect woman but when his mother drops a bombshell, he starts to feel the pressure. When Dan and Annabel’s worlds collide, both start to think that maybe they’ve found the solution to their problems. But things are about to get messy. Can Dan and Annabel get what they want? Both will soon find out that the trouble with words is finding the right thing to say.

An unmissable and heart-warming romantic comedy

Annabel is desperate to have a baby – there’s just one problem. She’s single and after losing her husband in a hit and run accident, she’s just not ready for another relationship. 

Dan is on the hunt for the perfect woman but when his mother drops a bombshell, he starts to feel the pressure.

When Dan and Annabel’s worlds collide, both start to think that maybe they’ve found the solution to their problems. But things are about to get messy.

Can Dan and Annabel get what they want?

Both will soon find out that the trouble with words is finding the right thing to say.

Hooked from the beginning, loved the characters and the premise for the story.


Wasn't quite as light as I was expecting, which gave the book an emotional maturity that was set perfectly within the comedy moments.


A creative story with some emotional moments that had my heart twisted. The characters were amazingly well written, and invested in them from the beginning for various reasons. 


A fantastic novel, perfect for summer reading or curling up and escaping the world for a while. 

Holding Myself By Victoria J. Brown

published by Bombshell Books available in Ecopy and Paperback. Click the book cover for a direct link.

An emotional, uplifting book about love, loss and hope - The perfect summer time read! Kat has a busy life. She runs her own beauty salon and has an alcoholic father to worry about. To make matters worse she has just discovered she is pregnant. Kat and Max have only been together for six months and she has a turbulent relationship with his mother and his ex-girlfriend who refuses to go away. As the pressure builds Kat finds herself wondering what path to take. Is having a baby the right thing to do? Can she keep her head above water while her life spirals out of control? Kat has some big decisions to make and whatever happens her life is going to change forever…

An emotional, uplifting book about love, loss and hope - The perfect summer time read!

Kat has a busy life. She runs her own beauty salon and has an alcoholic father to worry about. To make matters worse she has just discovered she is pregnant.

Kat and Max have only been together for six months and she has a turbulent relationship with his mother and his ex-girlfriend who refuses to go away.

As the pressure builds Kat finds herself wondering what path to take.

Is having a baby the right thing to do?

Can she keep her head above water while her life spirals out of control?

Kat has some big decisions to make and whatever happens her life is going to change forever…

Kat really does have her hands full; I took to the character straight away. although she has doubts about going ahead with the pregnancy on further reading you get to know why she has so many fears.
I found the writing style easy to get in to and Victoria had the perfect balance of showing Kat's nerves, but not making her a weak or annoying character.

Max was extremely well portrayed as an unexpected father to be.

A wonderfully captivating story of life and struggles, with some extremely heart rendering moments. with charming and engaging characters, and I am pleased to see there is a follow on and I am so looking forward to catching up with the next chapter of Kat and Max's life and what decisions they will make next....

The Silent Wife by Kerry Fisher

Lara’s life looks perfect on the surface. Gorgeous doting husband Massimo, sweet little son Sandro and the perfect home. Lara knows something about Massimo. Something she can’t tell anyone else or everything Massimo has worked so hard for will be destroyed: his job, their reputation, their son. This secret is keeping Lara a prisoner in her marriage. Maggie is married to Massimo’s brother Nico and lives with him and her troubled stepdaughter. She knows all of Nico’s darkest secrets – or so she thinks. The one day she discovers a letter in the attic which reveals a shocking secret about Nico’s first wife Caitlin. Will Maggie set the record straight or keep silent to protect those she loves? For a family held together by lies, the truth will come at a devastating price

Lara’s life looks perfect on the surface. Gorgeous doting husband Massimo, sweet little son Sandro and the perfect home. Lara knows something about Massimo. Something she can’t tell anyone else or everything Massimo has worked so hard for will be destroyed: his job, their reputation, their son. This secret is keeping Lara a prisoner in her marriage. Maggie is married to Massimo’s brother Nico and lives with him and her troubled stepdaughter. She knows all of Nico’s darkest secrets – or so she thinks. The one day she discovers a letter in the attic which reveals a shocking secret about Nico’s first wife Caitlin. Will Maggie set the record straight or keep silent to protect those she loves? For a family held together by lies, the truth will come at a devastating price

The silent wife, is a book about the complexities of marriage, relationships within a marriage, hierarchy, and second wives and how they fit into a family with predecessors whether it was through death or divorce.

From page one I was hooked, with chapters taken from Lara's POV and Maggie's, the interlopers of the family. With the throw in of Maggie's mum, who was brilliant and really wanted her to give more at times.

The portrayal of loyalties within this group was such a strength and then forecast the decisions that were made.
I was routing for both Maggie and Lara, and it didn't deter whose point of view I was reading from.

I found the story gripping, twisty and thoroughly complex, but easy to follow and found it difficult to put the book down. It worked extremely well with being an Italian family, with the ethos on Family Loyalties being the centre of The Faranelli's core beliefs.
Maggie fitting into a new family, with a sister in law that wasn't overly warm to her either was so well characterised and it was great to see the relationships grow and shift as the story took off.

Highly Recommend, and thoroughly enjoyed this read.

 

The Mountain In My Shoe

On the night Bernadette finally has the courage to tell her domineering husband that she's leaving, he doesn't come home. Neither does Conor, the little boy she's befriended for the past five years. Also missing is his lifebook, the only thing that holds the answers. With the help of Conor's foster mum, Bernadette must face her own past, her husband's secrets and a future she never dared imagine in order to find them all.

On the night Bernadette finally has the courage to tell her domineering husband that she's leaving, he doesn't come home. Neither does Conor, the little boy she's befriended for the past five years. Also missing is his lifebook, the only thing that holds the answers. With the help of Conor's foster mum, Bernadette must face her own past, her husband's secrets and a future she never dared imagine in order to find them all.

I would have got round to reading this book, eventually.

As it had such good reviews, although I stayed away from finding out what it was about.

However I went to Louise Beech's book launch in London.
She captivated me with the background of the story and the characters of Bernadette and Conor.
it is a wonderful story full of dread, hope and how families can be made, especially when they are not blood related.

It was an insightful to read about a child in care, and the hard work that does go into looking after them.
The book is made up of chapters from Bernadette, Conor, and the Life Book.

.The life book Chapters worked well and gave the story another level of reality. However they can be skim read if you wish to.


A beautiful story told in a compassionate way.

 

4.5 star Review from Bookstormer.

The Sisterhood

FIVE “SISTERS”; FIVE LIVES; FIVE SETS OF PROBLEMS New girl Sarah arrives in The Sisterhood Club just as the lives of those she meets are about to fall apart. Jo is faced with devastating loss and unending pressure at work; Phoebe is about to become homeless; Cathy is staring the end of her marriage in the face. Naomi, the Mother Hen of the group, while appearing to keep it all together, is facing mounting problems of her own... and Sarah is left wondering what on earth she is walking into! Can the common bonds of their burgeoning sisterhood see them through the ever-growing pressure, or will the world around them finally destroy it all?

FIVE “SISTERS”; FIVE LIVES; FIVE SETS OF PROBLEMS New girl Sarah arrives in The Sisterhood Club just as the lives of those she meets are about to fall apart. Jo is faced with devastating loss and unending pressure at work; Phoebe is about to become homeless; Cathy is staring the end of her marriage in the face. Naomi, the Mother Hen of the group, while appearing to keep it all together, is facing mounting problems of her own... and Sarah is left wondering what on earth she is walking into! Can the common bonds of their burgeoning sisterhood see them through the ever-growing pressure, or will the world around them finally destroy it all?


The characters were interesting, diverse, and I really felt for their dilemma's. There were great conversations/dialogues between the girls. Roz handled them with care, humour, and made them real.

The insight into Transgender was a revelation as it isn't a subject I have thought much about.

It took me a few days to read this book, as life was interrupting. However that was a bonus, as I found myself thinking about the girls, and this book will stay with me for a long while.


Contemporary fiction, isn't my favoured genre, however I find it refreshing to have a change, especially when a book like this comes along.


I hope to read more by this author, a sequel or short story of the girls would work well.

Surprisingly Brilliant.

4.5 star review Bookstormer

600 Hours of Edward

A thirty-nine-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Edward Stanton lives alone on a rigid schedule in the Montana town where he grew up. His carefully constructed routine includes tracking his most common waking time (7:38 a.m.), refusing to start his therapy sessions even a minute before the appointed hour (10:00 a.m.), and watching one episode of the 1960s cop show Dragnet each night (10:00 p.m.).   But when a single mother and her nine-year-old son move in across the street, Edward’s timetable comes undone. Over the course of a momentous 600 hours, he opens up to his new neighbors and confronts old grievances with his estranged parents. Exposed to both the joys and heartaches of friendship, Edward must ultimately decide whether to embrace the world outside his door or retreat to his solitary ways.

A thirty-nine-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Edward Stanton lives alone on a rigid schedule in the Montana town where he grew up. His carefully constructed routine includes tracking his most common waking time (7:38 a.m.), refusing to start his therapy sessions even a minute before the appointed hour (10:00 a.m.), and watching one episode of the 1960s cop show Dragnet each night (10:00 p.m.).

 

But when a single mother and her nine-year-old son move in across the street, Edward’s timetable comes undone. Over the course of a momentous 600 hours, he opens up to his new neighbors and confronts old grievances with his estranged parents. Exposed to both the joys and heartaches of friendship, Edward must ultimately decide whether to embrace the world outside his door or retreat to his solitary ways.

600 Hours of Edward

Is such an endearing book, not one of my usual reads, he has a great sense of humanity, and has so much growing to do.

He lives alone, has a strict routine, and is very much on his own.

Edward meets his neighbours and changes occur.

There are repetitions in this book for a reason, however if the dragnet series, drags...you can skip this without missing the story, even though each episode has a reason for being told.

Edward is one of my top male characters, he is so Bitchin'

5 stars from Bookstormer